For those of you who are on the hunt for a new job, you know how important first impressions can be. Before you meet a potential employer, you dress up. You’re all polished, primped, and ready to go. You arrive early with a notepad and prepared questions for your potential employer. You know that every detail is important because you want to present the greatest version of yourself.
Now, let’s pause for a moment. Is this really your first impression? Let’s rewind to see how we got to this point in the first place.
The function of a resume is merely to get your foot in the door. The resume might get you a phone call, which can lead to an interview. Even though it will be you who gets the job, a good resume can get the attention you need.
These days, an employer probably receives countless resumes, all of which describe the work of individuals with respectable work experience, internships, and education. It is often estimated that most employers don’t spend more than a few seconds glancing over a resume. How can you write yours in such a way to set you apart from the rest?
A good resume tells a story about who you are and what you can offer. Before writing out your resume, take some time to reflect on yourself. What are your strengths? What are you passionate about? As you meditate on these questions, you will likely come to some fundamental truths about yourself.
Try to come up with a thesis that will tell an employer about who you are and what you have to offer a business. Keep this main point in the forefront of your mind as you write your resume. Every bit of experience you mention will then function as evidence for your thesis. By doing this, you will project an accurate, positive image of yourself to your potential employer. No matter where her eyes fall on the resume, it should reflect the main idea you want to get across.
Rather than focusing on the different tasks you performed, emphasize the impact you made at your previous jobs. Instead of merely writing out job descriptions, use your resume as an opportunity to paint a picture of who you really are. Celebrate your uniqueness.
Be sure to head over to the CSUF Career Center, which offers complimentary help with resumes to all CSUF students.
John Bradley Jackson
Director, Center for Entrepreneurship